ETIRA Demands Environment Action from the EU
Toner and ink cartridge remanufacturers in Europe have published an open letter demanding ‘fast action’ to stop the ‘devastating impact’ the desktop and office print industry is having on the environment.
The letter, published on ETIRA’s website, responds positively to the EU’s Circular Economy report but sets demands upon the European Commission. Remanufacturers, through their association, are calling for an end to the negative cycle confronted by consumers and small business owners who are being “held hostage” to buying expensive, environmentally damaging ink cartridge replacements from the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM).
The association members argue consumers should be given the choice to reuse them time and again.
“When you buy a car, you are not told you can only fill it up at a certain petrol station – but when you buy a printer your hands are tied to the costly ink cartridge replacements sold by the manufacturer of the printer. This needs to change,” the members argue in their open letter.
Javier Martinez (pictured), president of ETIRA, said: “We need fast action to stop consumers and smaller business owners being held hostage by the big OEMs.”
ETIRA demands the European Commission end the negative cycle:
- by banning chips and firmware updates, and
- by stopping the import of compatible, polluting, single-use cartridges from outside of the EU.
“With green issues so high on the agenda across Europe we need to see legislation to help us in the printing industry work to reduce, remake and recycle – creating a circular economy in printing, in line with the EU’s Circular Economy Action Plan.”
The current printing business model has a devastating impact on the environment,
creating huge waste due to the short operational life of the printing hardware, combined with single-use cartridges. A recent EU report on a voluntary agreement in the printing industry, found that:
Martinez added: “Sadly, buying a new machine is often cheaper than buying a new set of cartridges, meaning people throw away both the device and reusable cartridges. This has to stop.”
ETIRA points to some new EU Circular Economy Action Plan highlights: “(…) have reduced impact due to the limitations of voluntary approaches. In fact, there is no comprehensive set of requirements to ensure that all products placed on the EU market become increasingly sustainable and stand the test of circularity. Priority will be given to addressing product groups identified in the context of the value chains featuring in this Action Plan, such as electronics, ICT and textiles”.
ETIRA believes there is a real opportunity for change. New legislation in this industry would see environmental improvements and generate up to 25,000 new jobs across Europe.
“There is so much good to be gained from changes to this sector and we want to see this pushed up the agenda and discussed,” concluded Martinez. “This has to stop. Our society cannot accept it. No other industry would accept this.”
ETIRA, formed in 2003, is a Belgian registered non-profit organisation that represents the interests of the inkjet and toner cartridge remanufacturers and related service providers and is the recognised industry body for all topics affecting the industry. ETIRA provides many services to its members: legal and regulatory advice, public relations, environmental impacts, quality and standardisation forums and member contact platforms. ETIRA also manages a remanufacturing Code of Conduct and the ticked-R collective mark assuring consumers of less expensive but 100% environment-friendly remanufactured cartridges.
Contacts: Secretary General: Vincent van Dijk (pictured), firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: + 31-6-414-614-63
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